Social Media Twitter 6 01 09


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A presentation to the Olympia (Wash.) Communicators Group providing an overview of how the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) uses social media tools to communicate with the public.

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Social Media Twitter 6 01 09

  1. 1. WorkZone Safety Case Study How Social Media Proved Critical to Raising Public Awareness Olympia Communicators Group Olympia, WA June 3, 2009 Lloyd D. Brown Communications Director Paula Hammond Secretary of Transportation Steve Reinmuth Chief of Staff Dave Dye Deputy Secretary
  2. 2. <ul><li>Washington State Department of </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation Profile: 7,000 Employees </li></ul><ul><li>WSDOT owns, manages and maintains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20,000 state highway lane miles (carry 86 million vehicle miles/day) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3,400 state bridges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>28 ferry vessels and 20 terminals (carry 24 million passengers/year) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partner in Amtrak Cascades state passenger rail (carries 420,000 passengers/year) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>16 General aviation airports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grain Train (runs 89 grain cars) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1,432 miles of short line rail </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total 2007-09 Biennial Budget of $5.9 billion (17% federal) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$4.56 billion (07-09) Capital Budget, over 1,000 active projects, currently delivering the largest infrastructure program in the state’s history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$1.35 billion (07-09) Operating Budget </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. WSDOT Communications ‘White knuckles and beads of sweat’ <ul><li>Our philosophy – Tell our news first whether it’s good or bad. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We get to frame the story. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases our credibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps the public and elected officials know that what we do isn’t easy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We look for every opportunity to communicate directly with affected communities. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Web 2.0 – Why Do We Bother? <ul><li>“ We shall stress the importance of sharing clear, concise and timely information with WSDOT employees, elected officials, community leaders, businesses, citizens and taxpayers, others in the transportation community, with the press and other media. We shall strive for the effectiveness of all our employees in meeting WSDOT’s communications standards.” </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt from WSDOT’s Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Statement and Management Principles </li></ul>
  5. 5. WSDOT’s Communication Response The Standard Toolbox <ul><li>We use tools to ‘leverage’ the media. </li></ul><ul><li>Established 24-hour EOC </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated media relations across regions </li></ul><ul><li>Updated press releases and media briefings to coincide with media cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Constant web and 5-1-1 updates </li></ul><ul><li>Listserv and e-mail alerts sent directly to public and industry (freight) </li></ul>
  6. 6. WSDOT Communications Response The NEW Toolbox <ul><li>We ARE the Media! In today’s Web 2.0 world, WSDOT is the content </li></ul><ul><li>provider. The media no longer dictates the relationship with the customer. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting (on hold) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Gov Delivery </li></ul>
  7. 7. WSDOT Communications Response The NEW Toolbox <ul><li>Web 2.0 isn’t just for kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Adults 35 and older are the fastest growing demographic using </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>According to comScore, more than 50% of Facebook’s users in the U.S. are over 35; the single biggest age demographic in the U.S. on Facebook is now between 35 and 44, and Facebook’s fastest growing demo is 55-plus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Social Media Optimization ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. So Why Twitter? It’s a two-way conversation <ul><li>WSDOT alerts and traffic updates are sent to subscribers and received on their computer, cell phone, or mobile hand-held device. This enables the user to adjust their travel plans or routes accordingly. </li></ul><ul><li>We also have a couple of “people” accounts (WSDOT_media and WSDOT) </li></ul><ul><li>And here are a few actual tweets … </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learn more about the planned I-90 bridge closures in May and July: .” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Photo contest update: Rabbit has passed the snow donut. Rabbit: 3,027 views; Donut: 2,446 views - about 11 hours ago ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Uh-oh, more snow forecast on I-90 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:06 PM Apr 10 th ” </li></ul>
  9. 10. Twitter: Uses Beyond Conversation <ul><li>Continuity of operations </li></ul><ul><li>Major weather events can cause sudden spikes in traffic to WSDOT’s web site, threatening to overwhelm the site’s servers and leave people without a reliable source of travel information. </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter helps ensure continuity of operations by providing the public with an alternative source of information in the event they can’t access WSDOT’s website. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>
  10. 11. Twitter Followers – Main WSDOT account <ul><li>Tracking since July 12, 2008 (255 Days) </li></ul><ul><li>Followers on July 12……….. 22 </li></ul><ul><li>Added since then…………… 3,868 </li></ul><ul><li>Total Number of Followers……….. 3,890 </li></ul><ul><li>Average growth per day…… 18 </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics as of April 8, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Data Source: </li></ul>
  11. 12. More than 1,900 Twitter Followers have been added since January 1, 2009. The total number is projected to grow to more than 4,160 by April 22, 2009. Data Source: Twitter Followers
  12. 13. Go Orange for Workzone Safety <ul><li>Recent Work Zone Safety Memorials were small, intimate affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>We intended to use media relations and our web site to raise awareness </li></ul><ul><li>But one Tweet on Monday morning turned that all upside down. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Go Orange for Workzone Safety <ul><li>The Twitter-verse responded … </li></ul><ul><li>We are going orange for workzone safety this week. Join us: - 7:23 AM Apr 20th from web </li></ul><ul><li>From @tjsopher - @ wsdot When did your logo go safety orange? Or is my iPhone on the fritz? :D </li></ul><ul><li>@ tj_sopher - we changed the logo to orange this morning. We are promoting driving safely in workzones this week. http:// 9:18 AM Apr 20th from web in reply to TJ_Sopher </li></ul>
  14. 15. Go Orange for Workzone Safety <ul><li>RT @jessdevivre: Changing my avatar this week to support WSDOT work zone safety awareness. (via @terpening) - Thanks @jessdevivre! 9:22 AM Apr 20th from web </li></ul><ul><li>Johnsonea - @ Terpening Nothing says work zone like traffic barrels. If you see them on the road remember to slow down, pay attention & give 'em a brake. 11:39 PM Apr 20th from TweetDeck in reply to Terpening </li></ul><ul><li>@terpening : </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks @ corprew and @ johnsonea ! Who else is going to &quot;go orange for work zone safety&quot; with us this week? 1:05 PM Apr 20th from TweetDeck </li></ul><ul><li>RT @ Terpening : Don't forget @ todd_h for his festive orange shades. - love the shades! 1:09 PM Apr 20th from TweetDeck </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to @ einmaleins , @ beemouse , @ jhudson and @ asevenson for going orange! Who's next! Orange is the new black this week! 1:40 PM Apr 20th from TweetDeck </li></ul>
  15. 16. Go Orange for Workzone Safety <ul><li>The media joined in the campaign … </li></ul><ul><li>Jennihogan - @ Terpening Love your hair! I think you'll like my outfit tomorrow. Orange it up baby!!! 4:51 PM Apr 20th from web in reply to Terpening </li></ul><ul><li>Jennihogan - Morning hotties! It's wear ORANGE day!! This is workzone safety month for @ WSDOT . I'll be wearing O today to help remind you to slow down. 3:38 AM Apr 21st from web </li></ul><ul><li>Rachellkomo - Orange not so much my color, but if @ terpening can pull off orange hair, hopefully I can pull off an orange top for work zone safety month! 4:15 AM Apr 21st from web </li></ul><ul><li>RT @ rachellekomo This is for you @terpening! Go Orange! 7:47 AM Apr 21st from TweetDeck </li></ul><ul><li>RT @ jennihogan A pic of my O today! KIRO 7 is serious </li></ul><ul><li>about work zone safety! Have our own cone and hard hat 7:48 AM Apr 21st from TweetDeck </li></ul>
  16. 17. Summary <ul><li>We still use traditional tools. But that’s just the minimum. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t wait for an emergency to try something new. Take your time and earn management support. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of the audience and make the social media information relevant to that audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Measure, measure, measure … your success, or lack of success isn’t just in page views but rather in how the public relates to your crisis. </li></ul>